As reported by the Sacramento Bee, the Maloofs announced today that the Kings will remain in Sacramento for one more season. They are giving Sacramento mayor Kevin Johnson until March 1, 2012 to come up with an arena plan that will convince them to keep the team in its current location beyond next season.
This might seem like great news for Kings fans and anyone who fondly remembers those awesome Sacramento squads from the early 2000s, but as indicated by the message delivered in a statement released by Maloof Sports and Entertainment, it’s really just a stay of execution:
“During this process, Mayor Johnson has strongly indicated to both the community and the NBA that he is capable of getting the support to build a state-of-the-art entertainment and sports facility that the Sacramento Region and the tremendous Kings fans so rightly deserve. We look forward to seeing Mayor Johnson bring his vision to reality. However, if an arena plan cannot be finalized in a timely fashion, the NBA’s relocation committee has assured Maloof Sports and Entertainment that it will support an application to move the franchise to another market starting in 2012-13.”
When you think about it, this is sort of like when your girlfriend gives you 30 days to find a job or she’s kicking you out of the apartment. Sure, she’s giving you a timeline to “make things right”, which is nice. But if she really, really loved you, wouldn’t she stick with you and support you no matter what?
(Who’s the loser now, Brenda? I’m a big deal on the Internet and last time I looked you up on Facebook you had put on 50 pounds and squeezed out a couple of ugly rugrats with some fat, balding chump. Guess you should have believed in my dream as much as I did, huh?)
It’s not very nice for me to say, but I’m not particularly invested in whether or not the Kings remain in Sacramento beyond next season. Considering that the franchise has previously played in Kansas City, Omaha, Cincinnati and Rochester, they’re already the most nomadic team in the NBA. And is Sacramento really more deserving of a team than Seattle or Vancouver?
Before I get a horde of pissed-off Kings fans attacking me, I’m not saying I want the team to move, I’m just saying I don’t feel the kind of despair I felt when the Grizzlies (I’m Canadian) and Sonics moved. This Grizzlies-Thunder series looks like it’s going to be a good one, but how cool would a Vancouver-Seattle rivalry have been if those teams hadn’t relocated?
Anyway, Sacramento gets to keep the Kings for one more season, assuming there actually is a season. It’s a short reprieve that could simply be delaying an inevitably messy breakup. If the Maloofs really cared about this team and its fans, they’d sell the franchise to somebody who is committed to keeping the Kings in Sac-Town.
But the reality of the situation is that the Maloofs are drowning in debt because of their own lousy business decisions and they want the residents of Sacramento to throw them a lifeline. And even if Sacramento ponies up to give the Maloofs the arena they want, Kings fans shouldn’t be surprised if they end up getting their hearts broken further down the road. Because this isn’t about love to the Maloofs, it’s about money.